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Underwriter Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

An Underwriter, or Insurance Evaluator, evaluates risks for an insurance company, advises whether the company can take on the risk, and provides the desired level of insurance coverage. Their duties include examining insurance proposals, collecting information for risk analysis, and calculating insurance premiums.

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Underwriter duties and responsibilities

Underwriters perform a variety of duties that ensure risk is appropriately evaluated for insurance companies. Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Gathering background information on potential customers from information provided in proposal forms for insurance.
  • Using company records to check the current number of in-force policies for similar levels of risk
  • Analyzing all relevant data using appropriate software to determine whether the level of risk is acceptable.
  • Writing quotes for insurance and determining the premiums payable
  • Preparing the terms and conditions of insurance policies
  • Liaising with insurance brokers or communicating directly with customers
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What does an Underwriter do?

By taking responsibility for the investigative, analytical, and mathematical aspects of evaluating insurance risks, an Underwriter helps insurance companies provide coverage for their customers and enter into contracts that carry an acceptable risk profile. An Underwriter’s daily activities consist of examining information about customers gathered during the application process, including financial and health-related information. An Underwriter decides whether the risk is acceptable for the company using analytical methods that integrate all relevant information.

Underwriter skills and qualifications

Successful Underwriters need a combination of analytical, mathematical, and communication skills to appropriately evaluate risk and communicate with relevant parties in insurance contracts. Some main skills and qualifications include:

  • Proficiency in using common office software, such as Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Understanding of statistics and data analysis
  • Experience with risk analysis and statistical software
  • Analytical mindset with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure and adhere to tight deadlines

Underwriter experience requirements

Some Underwriter positions may require degrees in mathematical or business-related disciplines, but other degrees may also be acceptable. A high level of computer literacy is crucial for Underwriters at all levels. Senior underwriters need several years of experience in the insurance industry with experience in specific domains of insurance, such as auto or home insurance.

Underwriter education and training requirements

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum necessary educational requirement for an entry-level Underwriter job. You may require candidates to have a Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP) qualification for more senior roles.

Underwriter salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Underwriter in Canada is $54,665. Actual earnings depend on several factors, including location, level of experience, and employer.

Job description samples for similar positions

If Underwriter is not the role you’re looking for, other sample job descriptions for related roles include:

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Underwriter job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Underwriter?

Underwriters are highly analytical people with an excellent attention to detail. Underwriters need to have good analytical and mathematical skills to do their job. Good Underwriters are comfortable making decisions about whether to provide insurance coverage to people and at what premium level. Underwriters need to excel at oral and written communication because their daily tasks often involve discussing insurance policies with brokers and customers.

What is the difference between Underwriter and Actuary?

The difference between an Underwriter an Actuary is that an Underwriter evaluates risk on an individual basis while an Actuary helps evaluate risk across an entire company. An Actuary uses complex statistical models to determine different insurance premiums based on factors such as mortality, morbidity, and the number of claims. An Underwriter assesses the risk of individual proposals, decides whether the risk is acceptable for the company, and which premium an individual fits into.

What should you look for in an Underwriter resume?

The nature of risk requires specialized knowledge to price correctly in different types of insurance. This makes the relevant experience in particular types of insurance important to look for. For example, an insurance company selling car insurance should look for a candidate with car insurance underwriting experience.

Make sure to assess resumes for the essential skills Underwriters displayed during previous jobs. Look out for expertise in risk assessment, knowledge of underwriting guidelines, and collaborating with other team members. Quantifiable achievements can make Underwriter resumes stand out. For example, a loan Underwriter might describe how they achieved the highest loan funding rate on their underwriting team.

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